They Will Be Invited for Breakfast
CASTEL GANDOLFO, AUGUST 7 (ZENIT.org).-In Sunday's Angelus message,
John Paul II announced that he too will welcome several young
pilgrims to his summer residence when they arrive for World Youth
Day (August 15-20).
"Many youth are already travelling to Rome. Families,
parishes, institutes, and schools have mobilized to welcome them
and, here in Castel Gandolfo, I will also have the joy of receiving
a few," the Pope said.
When asked who the youth will be, Fr. Mauro Parmeggiani of the
organizing committee stated, "We still don't know who will have
the good fortune. They have not yet been identified." However,
Fr. Parmeggiani disclosed the Pope's wishes -- there will be 15
guests, from around the world: 3 from Europe, 3 from the Americas, 3
from Africa, 3 from Asia, and 3 from Oceania.
"We are choosing them from the youth who have registered. On
one of the days they will be invited to breakfast with the Pope.
However, they will have to observe the commitments and schedules of
all other World Youth Day participants," explained Fr. Domenico
Sigalini, who is responsible for compiling the list of young papal
As the building where the Pope resides is full of his collaborators,
the young guests will stay in rooms of the Villa Barberini, which is
part of the Pontifical Villas. Unlike other young pilgrims in the
Eternal City, the papal guests will not be resting on the floor in
sleeping bags, but will enjoy the luxury of a bed, bathroom, shower,
The organizers are convinced that the number of youths attending the
World Youth Day will be greater than in Paris in August of 1997,
when the closing Mass was attended by 1.2 million people.
There might well be a total of 1.5 million this year in the Tor
Vergara field outside Rome. 500,000 will be housed in public
buildings, such as schools and gymnasiums, 150,000 in Church
buildings (parishes, houses of religious congregations, etc.),
45,000 in private accommodations such as hotels and hostels, 15,000
in camping tents, 11,000 in university facilities, and about 30,000
in family homes.
The Holy Father gives much importance to the World Youth Day.
Yesterday, after announcing that he will host several youths, John
Paul II said: "Let us pray that this important event at the
heart of the Jubilee will be a great opportunity for all youth
throughout the world to renew their own generous adhesion to